Miss Naidoc Perth
Miss NAIDOC Perth is a leadership and empowerment program for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in Perth, which culminates in the Miss NAIDOC Perth show, usually held in Reconciliation Week in Perth.
2017 Miss NAIDOC Perth finalists:
Kearah Ronan – Winner Miss NAIDOC Perth 2017
Kearah Ronan is a 24 year-old Yamatji (Nhanada / Wadjari) woman born in Geraldton, currently residing in Perth.
Kearah is currently in her third year of a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Development) at Curtin University, whilst also working for Catholic Education WA as an Aboriginal Cadet.
Kearah juggles her busy lifestyle, while maintaining her role as sole parent to her two-year-old daughter.
“Being a mother reinforces the love for my biggest passion which is children. My dream is to improve educational outcomes for future generations of our children. I strongly believe that if we can capture our kids at their most vulnerable ages and nurture them with a holistic approach devoid of the standardised educational procedures, we can create change,” said Kearah.
“Every child has the same potential and the right to learn, but our kids are the most disadvantaged, this needs to be acknowledged and addressed,” said Kearah.
“I’m very honoured to have been a part of Miss NAIDOC 2017. To be crowned Miss NAIDOC is a triumph within itself. Now that I’ve been put on this platform I can be heard and issues in the community can be spoken about and addressed,” said Kearah.
Simone Narkle – Runner Up Miss NAIDOC Perth 2017
Simone is a proud mother to three beautiful sons aged ten, three and nineteen months and cares for three teenage children from her extended family.
In addition to caring for six children, Simone works as an Aboriginal and Islander Education Officer supporting students through high school.
A proud Noongar / Wongi woman, Simone reflects on how assimilation policies have affected her family.
“My mother’s mother was stolen generation and my other grandparents affected,” said Simone. “They were raised at the York Reserve and Moora settlement. They lost their culture, and were not allowed to teach or tell our stories to my parents.”
Despite this, her parents have done all they can to learn about their culture and teach it to Simone who is now sharing it with her children and family.
Simone is passionate about helping our mob overcome the trauma of these policies by promoting mental health, drug and alcohol awareness. In January this year, Simone managed the ‘Indigenous Awareness Basketball Carnival’ in Warwick.
Simone has a love of sport and particular basketball, having played for the WA Women’s Basketball League for over 10 years. Her latest sport is AFL, playing in the Women’s Western Australian Football League (WWAFL) for the Perth Angels and if that’s not enough, she’s in the WA Netball Superleague representing Ballajura.
Simone entered Miss NAIDOC Perth because she was inspired by the other women who had entered previously. “The lady’s inspired me to step forward and to take this deadly opportunity,” said Simone.
Jasmine Corbett – Miss Kwobordok 2017
Jasmine Corbett is a 22-year-old Noongar / Yamatji woman who grew up in Midland.
Jasmine is currently an Administration Assistant for Woodside Energy in Perth, where she has worked for the last five years after completing an Indigenous Business Traineeship.
“I love moving around departments every year to see what Woodside has to offer and to continue learning more about the resource industry,” she said.
From a young age Jasmine has been inspired by her parent’s passion of travelling the world. Her own travels have broadened her knowledge of different cultures and histories. Jasmine is also grounded, she and her fiancé are currently building their first home.
“I am very excited to make our new house a home and to start a family,” said Jasmine.
Jasmine believes in empowering Indigenous youth with education. “Education is the key to closing the gap and I strongly believe every little achievement for equal rights and respect for our First Nations Peoples is a positive step for our mob,” said Jasmine.
Jasmine joined Miss NAIDOC Perth to empower the young Indigenous community, push herself outside her comfort zones and open herself up to new opportunities.
Tiarna Eades – Miss Photogenic 2017
Tiarna is currently employed with the Western Australian Police as an Aboriginal Cadet.
Tiarna is passionate about two things; protecting the community and sport – including keeping healthy and fit. As a WA Police cadet, she gets to protect and serve her community and maintain a physical and healthy lifestyle.
“I love the physical component of the Police but more importantly the opportunity I have to make a difference and change the views Aboriginal people have about the police. I want my mob to see that the police are here to help and make our communities safe to live in,” said Tiarna.
Tiarna has always been keen on keeping active and participating in sports. She loves netball and basketball. The opportunity to play in team sports has developed her skills in teamwork, sportsmanship and cooperation skills.
Tiarna is taking part in Miss NAIDOC Perth because she wants to grow stronger as a person, and develop skills in public speaking so that she can have a strong voice for her mob to speak up and be heard, and then back up the talk with action.
Beige Dimer – Miss NAIDOC Perth 2017 finalist
Beige is a passionate volunteer and sits as a Director of the CHEAFS Aboriginal Corporation in Kalgoorlie, who have organised cultural and sporting events including the Goldfields NAIDOC festival. Beige is also a third-generation Aboriginal dot artist, inspired by her late grandfather and father who are international artists. Beiges other interests include playing the piano and guitar, basketball and she currently plays and coaches netball.
Beige’s short-term goals are to graduate university and become the first member of her family to earn a degree. In the long-term she wants to become a doctor, then return to Kalgoorlie to help with health problems in her community. Beige believes it is important for her people to go to university and become qualified to help make a better future for Aboriginal people.
Beige joined Miss NAIDOC Perth to become a confident public speaker and to develop her leadership skills.
“Being a part of Miss NAIDOC Perth will help me learn valuable skills to become a good leader in my community where I can support and guide other people,” said Beige.
Bree Passmore – Miss NAIDOC Perth 2017 finalist
Bree Passmore is an 18-year-old Yamatji / Wongai woman from Kalgoorlie, who moved to Perth when she was a young child. She is now proudly living in her first apartment and is working for Chevron, Australia.
Bree has a passion for supporting people with mental illness, which is an issue that has affected her community, recently more than ever.
“I’ve dealt with the heartache of people I love suffering with mental illness,” said Bree.
“It forever reminds me that everyone needs support and everyone needs to feel loved. So supported and so loved, that they live long, healthy and happy lives. No matter who or why – everyone needs support and the best thing anyone can ever do, is be ready to give and receive it.”
Bree does what she can to encourage stronger networks and supports for people struggling with mental health in every way she can. She knows that every single person needs a different kind of support and tries her best to accommodate that.
Bree is fiercely independent with a passion to succeed. She is constantly reminding her family and friends to do whatever it is that makes them happy.
Bree entered Miss NAIDOC Perth to boost her confidence and build her skills, knowledge and abilities and then share this with others. She believes that the further she’s empowered through experiences like this, the further she will be able to empower others.
Julia Louden – Miss NAIDOC Perth 2017 finalist
Julia grew up in Kimberley towns including Fitzroy Crossing, Derby, Broome and Camballin. She realised her dream of studying at UWA and completed her Commerce degree in 2015, and was then offered a graduate position at Ernst & Young.
Julia is passionate about the economic empowerment of Indigenous people and seeing more Indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs. She is involved in the Indigenous Sector practice at her work and wants to work with Indigenous clients to help build their businesses as well as gain experience with social impact work.
Julia decided to participate in Miss NAIDOC Perth in order to further develop her leadership skills, and to help build the skills that she will need to successfully work with Indigenous business and be a role model for young people in her community.
“I want to show young girls like me that I was once a young kid growing up in Derby, getting into trouble just because I was bored and dealing with some tough issues within my family and community. Because I made a few lucky choices and stood up and took some opportunities offered to me, I now have a completely different life,” said Julia.
Kayla Michael – Miss NAIDOC Perth 2017 finalist
Kayla is the proud mother of a 2-year-old son and 8-month-old daughter and volunteers at the Champion Centre in Armadale. She enjoys going on archaeological expeditions with her family at the Jarrahdale Forest to look for heritage sites of her ancestors which she says, “makes me feel so proud of who I am”.
Kayla would like to be an ambassador for young mothers who have suffered from or are currently suffering from postnatal depression.
“I feel strongly that postnatal depression isn’t acknowledged enough in our community and that a lot of young mothers just like myself are scared to seek help,” said Kayla.
Kayla entered Miss NAIDOC Perth to improve her self-confidence and become a role model that others can look up to.
All photographs by Carlo Fernandes Photography.